Shun Ikejima's Egg Is a 3D-Printed Ultra-Compact Ortholinear Raspberry Pi Zero W Laptop

Inspired by vintage luggables, this deceptively compact computer runs bare-metal software with a sub-five-second boot time.

Gareth Halfacree
4 months agoHW101 / 3D Printing

Shun Ikejima's unusually-named Egg laptop is a Raspberry Pi-powered 3D-printed throwback to an earlier era, mimicking the look of vintage portables while using a modern ortholinear keyboard layout.

"When I was a kid, I drew my perfect laptop PC to note," Ikejima explains of the inspiration behind the Egg. "At that time, I couldn’t have the laptop. But, now I can start my project! I defined a goal that I can design my next laptop on this laptop. In other words, it only needs to edit Python code for CadQuery."

The resulting design looks remarkably similar to vintage systems like the NEC ProSpeed 286, an example of which was recently upcycled courtesy of a Raspberry Pi transplant. Like the NEC, the Egg features a clamshell display, which hinges not from the very back as with modern laptops but from somewhere closer to the middle — leaving a "backside" that sticks out proud at the rear, offering increased stability to counter the Egg's small size and light weight.

The 3D-printed chassis, designed in CadQuery, is based on the GRIZ Sextant design unveiled in December 2020. To the front is a Cherry MX mechanical keyboard based on a straight ortholinear layout with 16mm key pitch to reduce the overall size. A Raspberry Pi Zero W single-board computer sits inside, while a three-digit seven segment LED provides a secondary display under the main screen.

The laptop's appearance can be deceiving. While inspired by full-size vintage systems, the Egg has a footprint of just 198×190×34mm (around 7.8×7.5×1.34") — making it more of an ultra-portable netbook than a classic laptop. For software, Ikejima worked around the Raspberry Pi's lack of a suspend-to-RAM mode by writing bare-metal software, which boots the system up in under five seconds — though admits "the software is not complete yet."

More information on the Egg is available on Ikejima's website.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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